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Violence never retires!

An older man hitting an older woman.

mostphotos.com/Dan Burch. The people in the picture have no connection with the text.

Many more people become dependent on help and support from those around them as they get older.

Older people who are more dependent on others are at greater risk of being the victims of violence at the hands of relatives or care staff.
This also means that there is a risk of repeated violence and less chance to break free of a destructive relationship.

All forms of violence are criminal acts that must be reported.
If not urgent, it can be useful to get advice and support and help with managing the situation, whether you are yourself the victim or are concerned about someone else who may be a victim.

What should I do if I am the victim of violence?

  • Tell someone you trust.
  • Seek support. Ring 1177 for an assessment and to be referred to someone who can help.
    You do not need to give your name.
  • Keep a diary. Record any injuries.
  • Remember your phone and computer might be checked.
  • Don’t think it can’t happen again.
  • Plan an escape route.
  • Notify the police.
    All violence is a crime.

What should I do, as a relative, friend or member of staff, if I suspect someone around me is the victim of violence?

  • Take responsibility – ask, act and help!
  • Ring 1177 to get advice and support and to be referred to someone who can help.
  • Listen to the person and believe what they are telling you.
  • Do not blame or doubt the person.
  • Always talk to the person in private.
  • Be patient and considerate with the person.
  • Get straight to the point, or start your conversation with a phrase that shows that it’s OK to talk about the subject, then go on to ask more direct questions.
  • Say that you will support the person even if they choose to remain in their relationship.
  • Tell them that all forms of violence are criminal acts.
  • If you work in housing or a similar setting, talk to your supervisor about how to proceed.
  • Record all signs of violence even if the person does not want to notify the police.
  • Keep in contact with the person.
  • Where relevant always use a professional interpreter.

Definition of ‘elder abuse’

“Elder abuse is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.
This act may be physical, psychological and/or emotional, financial or simply reflect intentional or unintentional neglect”

WHO 2002